Relying on a spiritual mentor

17 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Part of a series of teachings given during a retreat based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice given at Sravasti Abbey.

  • Conceptual consciousnesses create virtue
  • Dispelling misconception about “guru devotion”
  • Relying on a spiritual mentor as the root of spiritual growth
  • The meaning of “guru,” “lama,” and “spiritual mentor”
  • Translating the traditional student-teacher relationship to the West

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 17: Relying on a spiritual mentor (download)

17 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice: Relying on a Spiritual Mentor 11-03-19

Contemplation points

  1. Why is it that conceptual (not nonconceptual) consciousnesses create positive and negative karma? Walk through the reason to better understand why this is.
  2. What is the reason behind using the term “spiritual mentor” instead of “guru?” What does the term “guru” generally evoke in the West that we are to be cautious of?
  3. What are the internal and external conditions for having a meaningful and happy life now and in the future? How does this differ from how society, and even other religions, present the pursuit of a meaningful and happy life?
  4. Why is it important to rely on a qualified spiritual mentor to progress on the path? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages of not doing so?
  5. What is meant when the the Buddha asserts to Ananda that the “entire holy life” is about spiritual companionship? Who is he referring to and why?
  6. Why is it important to check into each person’s qualifications before choosing spiritual mentors? What kinds of qualities are we to look for?
  7. How does the relationship with a spiritual mentor differ from one with a schoolteacher or professor?

Find more on these topics: , , ,